PREVIEW | Saints v Hibs

We welcome Hibernian to McDiarmid Park tomorrow afternoon as we look to make it three victories in-a-row this weekend!

Back-to-back wins against Hamilton and Hearts has lifted Tommy Wright's men up the table and another victory on Saturday could see Saints go level on points with Livingston in 7th.

Tomorrow's visitors parted company with manager Paul Heckingbottom during the week and caretaker boss Eddie May will take charge of the first-team for the match.

Hibs currently sit in 10th place, one place and a single point behind Saints.


TEAM NEWS

Saints boss Tommy Wright has a full squad to choose from with the exception of long-term absentee Liam Gordon.

There had been concerns after the Hearts game about the fitness of a number of players but last weekend's break has enabled those with niggles to recovery fully in time for tomorrow's match.

That means the Manager has a number of options to choose from this weekend should he decide to make any changes from the starting XI which has delivered back-to-back wins.


PRESS CONFERENCE

The Manager: "The last two wins were fully deserved and it's given us a platform now to kick on and try to climb up the league table.

"The clean sheet against Hearts in particular should give my young squad confidence as we go into another tough match against Hibs.

"I think that the break at the weekend came at a good time for us because although we were flying off the back of two straight wins we had a number of players who would have probably missed the Rangers match had it gone ahead.

"Murray Davidson, David Wotherspoon, Ali McCann and Wallace Duffy all picked up knocks against Hearts but the break has given them the chance to recover fully for this weekend.

"Hibs have a good squad and it'll be a difficult game. It's going to be different from our previous two matches but we go into the game full of confidence.

"Going forward Hibs always carry a threat but I think it's been defensively that they've struggled this season and ultimately it's cost Paul Heckingbottom his job.

"I don't know how their players will react. Sometimes players can go out there to prove a point after a manager leaves.

"They might change their shape with the caretaker manager but we'll be prepared for anything and I know that I have players that can adapt and be flexible however we decide to line-up tomorrow.

"We go into it full of confidence and I'm confident we can keep our run going if we maintain our level of performance in recent weeks."

David Wotherspoon: "We've not been paying much attention to the goings on at Hibs and have just been focusing on ourselves and building momentum after two good results.

"It was great to make it back-to-back wins against Hearts and they boys have been playing really well.

"A couple of weeks ago it wasn't looking great for us but after a couple of results we've climbed up the table. We can't rest on it though and we need to continue building because we've got a really talented young squad.

"Despite the start we had confidence has always been high but after two wins it has certainly given us a boost. Hopefully we can push on now because I know that there is a lot more to come from us."


SUPPORTER INFORMATION

Beat the queues by purchasing your ticket online HERE.

You can buy tickets right up until kick-off and these can either be printed at home or scanned from a mobile phone/tablet.

With a reduced number of cash gates at the stadium, buying your ticket online is quick and easy, and will get you into the ground faster!

There will be a minute's silence before the match tomorrow and supporters are advised to get into the ground as early as possible.

The Muirton Suite will be open from midday on Saturday for home and away supporters. The Bar will also be open post-match.

The Saints Shop will open at 1:45PM with a range of official St. Johnstone Football Club merchandise on-sale, perfect for those looking to get ahead with Christmas stocking-fillers!


REMEMBRANCE DAY

The Club will mark Remembrance Day this weekend at McDiarmid Park.

We will be welcoming former members of the armed forces and their families to the match as well as the Perth & District Pipe Band.

Pre-match there will be a short wreath laying service at the Main Entrance of McDiarmid Park with the Reverand David Barrie marking the occasion by saying a few words before a quiet moment of reflection. The Pipe Band will begin playing from 2:15PM with the service taking place from 2:30PM.

A lone piper will play the players on to the park around ten minutes before kick-off with the traditional minute's silence also taking place on the pitch prior to the match.

At half-time, our guests from the Armed Forces will head trackside with the Perth & District Pipe Band playing as they walk around the McDiarmid Park pitch.


MATCH PROGRAMME

Today's Match Programme will be available to buy from sellers in all stands, the Saints Shop or the Muirton Suite before the match.

Zander Clark is our featured interview this week and in this issue we also have tributes to Bill MacDonald and Jim Richmond, as well as a throwback to our UEFA Cup clash with Vasas Budapest at Muirton Park!

Programmes cost £2 each.


HEAD-TO-HEAD

Tomorrow is the 141st meeting between the two clubs in all competitions, with the visitors having the upper hand in the head-to-head record.

Hibs have won 62 times compared to 44 Saints victories. The fixture has ended in a stalemate on 34 occasions.

Earlier this season the two sides met at Easter Road in an entertaining 2-2 draw with captain Jason Kerr scoring a dramatic late equaliser.

Last year there was also late drama at Easter Road when Saints secured a 1-0 victory courtesy of then-skipper Joe Shaughnessy's injury-time header.

The teams shared the spoils at McDiarmid Park on the first meeting of the last campaign in a 1-1 draw but lost out 1-2 to Hibs in what was a big result in the race for the top-six back in February.

That result was the first defeat at home for Saints against Hibs since September 2013 when Stevie May's opener was cancelled out by Paul Heffernan and James Collins goals in another 1-2 defeat.

Since Tommy Wright became Manager back in the summer of 2013, the clubs have met on 11 occasions with three wins apiece and 5 draws between them.


SAINTS TV

Not making the game?

The game will be shown LIVE on Saints TV tomorrow to overseas subscribers, with live audio commentary for those in the UK/IRE.

Joining Gary Henderson on the commentary tomorrow afternoon is former Saints defender and 2019 Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Weir!

Subscribe to Saints TV now so you don't miss any of the action - https://tv.perthstjohnstonefc.co.uk

WATCH the Manager and Matty Kennedy talk exclusively to Saints TV ahead of the match.

The Manager

Matty Kennedy


JUNIOR SAINTS

The Junior Saints Pre-Match Club returns this weekend with things kicking-off at 1PM in the Muirton Gym!

Brogan the Beagle will be there along with some of the first-team squad and there will be loads of fun activities to get involved with.

Take part in fun games including mini football, tabletop games, arts & crafts, play Xbox/PlayStation and have a penalty competition against Brogan and the players!

The Pre-Match Club is for members only - to join the Junior Saints Supporters' Club click HERE to download an application form.


SENSORY PACKS

The Club is delighted to have introduced a brand new 'Sensory Pack' loan-service for disabled supporters with sensory requirements.

The packs have been designed for children and young people in mind and will help to add comfort and security for autistic supporters, enhancing their matchday experience and making their trip to McDiarmid Park more enjoyable.

Each Sensory Pack includes:

  • A colouring in set
  • Bubbles
  • Stress Ball
  • Fidget Toys
  • Ear Plugs

All Sensory Packs must be pre-booked and will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. To reserve a pack and to arrange matchday collection, please email DAO@perthsaints.co.uk. The packs will also be available for visiting supporters.

Arrangements can be made for the Sensory Packs to be collected at all St. Johnstone away matches too. For more information please call Beverley Mayer (Disability Access Officer) on 01738 459090.